Wesley day centre finds a new location in Hamilton

With time running out on the lease for the Wesley day centre, city staff have finally secured a spot after looking at close to 30 properties in downtown Hamilton.

Paul Johnson, the general manager of safe and healthy communities with the city of Hamilton, wouldn’t say where it’s located but says securing it allows the applications to the minister of health to go forward.

The Wesley day centre has been at its location on Ferguson avenue north for more than 30 years. At the end of March it will be closing its doors. The existing facility will be turned into low income housing..

Councillor Sam Merulla, who chairs the emergency and community services committee, says finding a location for the day centre and a safe injection site has been a challenge. “Its been very difficult, as you can imagine anytime you’re proposing a service people don’t entirely understand there’s a level of resistance from the neighborhood.”

Opioids are a major problem in Hamilton, more than 120 people died from overdoses in the city last year.

City officials expect the new location to be up and running by the end of March, promising a seamless transition.